At around 1 p.m. ET in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday, protest puppeteer Elliot Crown twirled a paper mache planet over a bed of flames, playing a silent violin. Around him, a neon-dotted crowd gathered next to the Plaza Hotel to protest the collapse of life on Earth. Numbers soon swelled to around 300, a solid local turnout for the Extinction Rebellion’s first national day of action in the United States. A marching band began to play, and activist performance group Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir hopped around the perimeter of the crowd, harmonizing about the end of the world. “Only so many beautiful days… are le-e-eft!”

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